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Kohlberg bows out of Steinway bidding

Wednesday - 8/14/2013, 2:18am  ET

The Associated Press

Investment firm Kohlberg & Co. has withdrawn from the bidding for legendary piano maker Steinway after a competing offer hit just the right note.

Steinway agreed in July to sell itself to Kohlberg for $35 per share. But the piano maker said Monday that an investment firm, which it did not name, offered to pay $38 per share. The roughly $477 million bid topped Kohlberg's earlier $438 million offer.

The new bid is a 25 percent premium to Steinway's closing price just before Kohlberg's bid was announced.

Kohlberg had until Wednesday to negotiate a better offer with Steinway. Otherwise, the deal between it and Steinway will be terminated and the keyboard icon will ink a deal to be bought by the other firm.

According to a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday, Kohlberg has waived the right to negotiate a new offer, which would clear the path for the second offer to move forward.

Representatives for Steinway and Kohlberg did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

While Steinway did not name who made the $38 bid on Monday, the Wall Street Journal -- citing unnamed sources -- reported it was Paulson & Co., the firm founded by John Paulson. A representative for Paulson & Co. declined to comment.

Shares of Steinway fell $1.32, or 3.3 percent, to close at $38.27 Tuesday after hitting an all-time high of $39.90 on Monday.


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